Cyberbullying: the use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass, or target another person.
Isn’t it wild to think that not too long ago, the word “Cyberbullying” didn’t even exist? If any bullying were to happen, it would typically happen face-to-face…or on a landline phone. Kids and teens always had the safety net of being able to leave a bullying situation by physically leaving the situation. But nowadays, bullying has gone to a whole new level that has made it extremely difficult for a child to escape. When bullying happens behind a screen, it’s alarming how many kids and teens become the next target. Cyberbullying is a serious, widespread issue and the stats prove it. Click here to take a look.
So what do we do? Especially as parents, what can we do to help keep our kids safe and smart on social media when it comes to cyberbullying? It all starts with a conversation between you and your kid. With that said, here are five tips from to share with your kid on how to deal with cyberbullies:
- Don’t respond or retaliate: if you are angry or hurt, you might say things you’ll regret later. Plus, retaliation only prolongs the problem and doesn’t solve it.
- Block the Bully: block phone numbers, screen names, email addresses. And remove the person from your buddy or friend list.
- Save the Evidence: print out or take screenshots of abusive messages and keep them as proof.
- Report: most websites have rules against cyberbullying. You can usually find information on how to report abuse on the site’s community guidelines.
- Tell a Trusted Adult: telling a teacher or a parent isn’t tattling…it’s standing up for yourself. And even if the bullying occurs online, your school probably has rules against it.
We can’t shield our kids from all the evils of this world, but we can teach them to be smart. So if your kid ever comes in contact with a cyberbully and puts these five tips into action, they will be much safer and smarter because of it. But this all stems from you, as a parent, being pro-active in talking with your kids about all of this. The more you stay ahead and informed, the better your kids will be!
And to stay ahead on all things social media, consider purchasing a paid subscription to Be Socially Smart where we will keep you up to speed on all the latest trends and changes in social media!